By Mathew Hartley
The new David Braley Athletic and Recreation Centre is the pride of Mohawk College in Hamilton.
The home of the Mohawk Mountaineers was completed before the start of the 2013 OCAA season and the glistening centre held a pristine 26-0 record for their men’s basketball team.
Until the Humber Hawks swooped in.
Mohawk’s head coach Brian Jonker proudly defended his team’s impressive home record before the game.
“They’re a great team and so are we, they beat us at their place but we’ve never lost a game in this building against a Canadian college team,” Jonker said.
The perfect record stood for 513 days before the Hawks broke through with a 96-89 win against the Mountaineers last Friday night.
The game was set up as simply as could be: number one versus number two in the OCAA West Division duking it out for the division title.
Both teams had already sealed a spot in the OCAA championships but Humber’s head coach Shawn Collins stressed the importance of the game.
“If you’re a player that likes the game of basketball, these are the types of games you want to play in,” said Collins.
Immediately following tip-off, Humber’s Tyrone Dickson would lay up an easy two-pointer and charge back down the court to recover the game’s first rebound.
Dickson’s tenacity briefly silenced the near-capacity crowd.
Mohawk would lead 21-19 at the end of the first quarter but a strong run before half-time saw the Hawks lead by five-points at the break.
Humber increaseed its lead further to nine points before the Mountaineers began a fierce comeback.
The Hawks’ Chad Bewley would try to bring momentum back to the blue and gold by hitting a long range three-point shot and instantly offered the crowd a cocky three finger salute.
The home team would not lie down however as Mountaineers guard Lamar Barr would steal the ball, put up a shot and teammate Matt Fennell slammed home the put-back to electrify the building and give Mohawk the lead with seven minutes to go.
The Hawks had to fight through the noise for the win but in the final minutes Humber would fire on all cylinders and bring home a seven-point victory.
The Hawks’ Gibson Eduful would play for almost 30 minutes throughout the game and expressed the team’s confidence after the big win.
“It felt amazing to beat them in their gym. We just wanted to show everyone who the best team in the OCAA is, if they didn’t already know,” said Eduful.
The Hawks get a one-week break before learning who they face next weekend in the OCAA championship at Durham College.